Healthy Behaviors and Choices (e.g. Fitness, Tobacco, Opioids, Nutrition)
Sharing Session - 60 Minutes
Sumter Health Wise Prize is an innovative program which celebrates public health knowledge by engaging high school students in a health-based quiz competition. This program was designed to educate the community on the variety of functions and areas of public health and to inspire students to pursue careers in this field.
To create awareness on the importance of public health, Health Wise Prize offered a creative and fun way to engage the community. It was a collaborative effort in which the health department provided the subject matter expertise and facilitation of the program, the local school district supported student recruitment and training efforts, the state college provided a venue and technical support for the competition, and community philanthropic organizations provided financial support for the program.
The curriculum, containing modules on 15 public health topics, was developed with topics selected based on prevalent health issues in Sumter County, such as obesity and immunizations. Teams of students were recruited from local high schools to learn the curriculum over the course of six months.
The culmination of the program was the Health Wise Prize competition held before a live audience. The health department received positive feedback and multiple opportunities for future partnerships. The vision of this program is to expand beyond Sumter County to neighboring communities. By gaining support from academic institutions and other local health departments, this program will grow and continue to educate students and the community on the importance of public health.